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Bird Nest Cupcakes

Updated on March 20, 2014

How to Make Bird Nest Cakes

Simple and yummy recipes teaching you how to make bird nest cupcakes - perfect for Easter! Find a step-by-step tutorial on making these cute treats along with alternative recipes, ideas and more.

Learn to make them with buttercream or flakes, and mini versions as well as full size. These would make a wonderful homemade gift or go down a treat at an Easter party!

Read on to find out how to make them - they are easier than you might think!

Photo Credit: Bird Nest Cupcakes - copyright of the author

Best Bird Nest Cupcakes Recipe - image copyright of the author
Best Bird Nest Cupcakes Recipe - image copyright of the author

This is by far my most favourite chocolate cupcake recipe ever! The cupcakes themselves are moist and soft, while the buttercream boasts both beautiful texture and taste, without being too sickly.

Cook Time

Total Time: 70-80 minutes

Serves: Makes 12 cupcakes


  • 7 oz plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 5 oz unsalted softened butter
  • 7 oz granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 oz cocoa powder
  • 240 ml boiling water
  • 3 oz plain/dark chocolate
  • 10 oz icing sugar
  • 1.5 tsp cocoa powder
  • 12 oz unsalted softened butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 120 ml double cream
  • 36 or more chocolate mini eggs to decorate (allowing at least 3 per cupcake)


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas mark 4
  2. Line a 12-hole muffin pan with paper cupcake cases
  3. Add the boiling water to the cocoa powder in a bowl and blend until it is smooth and chocolatey. Leave it to cool to room temperature while you mix the rest of the ingredients
  4. Sift together the flour and baking powder in another bowl and set aside. In a third bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy and soft. I use a handheld mixer with beaters to get the best consistency
  5. Add the eggs and vanilla to the creamed butter and sugar, give it a good stir, then add in the sifted flour and baking powder. Stir again until the mixture is smooth, before adding in the cooled chocolate mixture. Beat again with the mixer
  6. Spoon the mixture evenly between cases. Depending on the size of your cases, you may have some extra left over - if you have a smaller holed muffin tin and mini cases, you can use the mixture up and make mini cupcakes like the ones I have demonstrated further down the page. Or just make extra full sized ones!
  7. Bake in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes or until the cakes are springy when you touch the tops. Cool them on a wire rack
  8. Now, to make the buttercream nests, break up the chocolate into a bowl and place over a saucepan of simmering water until completely melted. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly
  9. While waiting for the chocolate to cool, sift the cocoa powder and icing sugar into a large bowl, add the butter, and beat with a mixer until well blended together
  10. Whisk in the melted chocolate, cream and vanilla extract, then beat again for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture turns creamy and smooth, and it starts turning a lighter colour
  11. Allow it to cool a little, before spooning the icing into a piping bag. You will need to use a star-shaped nozzle to create the bird nest effect
  12. Pipe the icing onto the cakes to create the look of a bird's nest
  13. Place 3 or more mini eggs in the centre of each nest - more if you are using very small eggs
  14. Serve and enjoy!!
Cast your vote for The Best Bird Nest Cupcakes Recipe!

Here for Cupcakes?

Best Bird Nest Cupcakes Recipe - image copyright of the author
Best Bird Nest Cupcakes Recipe - image copyright of the author

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Bird Nest Cupcakes - copyright of the author
Bird Nest Cupcakes - copyright of the author

Make a Cute Easter Treat!

These super cute cupcakes are a delight to bake for Easter (or simply for spring!) - they make a yummy alternative to chocolate eggs and look great at a party. Why not bake a batch and give them to friends and family as homemade Easter gifts?

For gifts, you could present them in an Easter gift box or Easter basket. For a party, display them with an Easter theme! I put my recent batch on a pretty tiered stand and decorated it with some cute little Easter chicks. I put some artificial flowers behind them to give a spring feel as well.

You could present yours on an Easter-themed stand, in an egg-shaped bowl, or even in a homemade nest! Why not glean some inspiration from these bird nest themed articles; Decorating with Birds Nests or Birds Nest Crafts? You can get nests intended for party or wedding favors which would be perfect for popping a few cupcakes in, and would work really well with the mini cupcakes recipe, too!

Another super cute way to add extra Easter d├ęcor to your cakes is to place a sweet little birdie cupcake pick in each one, or nestle a little fluffy chick or bird on top of the mini eggs!

12 Bird Cupcake Topper Rings

Wilton Borders Cupcake Stand

12 Natural Twig Birds Nests

Mini Bird Nest Cupcakes - A Variation on the Main Recipe (and great for leftover batter and buttercream, too!)

Mini Bird Nest Cupcakes - image copyright of the author
Mini Bird Nest Cupcakes - image copyright of the author

Photo Credit: Mini Bird Nest Cupcakes - image copyright of the author

As I mentioned in the main recipe above, you can also make mini versions of the the cupcakes. Just use mini cases and a 12 hole mini cake pan. You can either make these as a separate project (in which case, the above recipe for 12 standard cupcakes will make 24 or more mini cakes) or use any leftover batter and icing to make these as extras.

When you come to ice these tiny versions, pipe the icing around each cake once, so it fills the entirety of the cake top. Then nestle one little mini egg in the centre. Yum yum!

These are great for little ones or those with smaller appetites, or for when you fancy a treat but can't manage a whole one!

Video Tutorials for Bird Nest Cupcakes

Easy Bird Nest Cupcakes Recipe - image copyright of the author
Easy Bird Nest Cupcakes Recipe - image copyright of the author

Quick and Easy Bird Nest Cupcakes - Simply But Yummy!

If you want a less rich chocolate combination, or just a quicker, easier recipe to rustle up, this is the one for you!

This recipe is less complex than the first, as the mix can be made quickly all in one bowl, as can the buttercream. It is, however, another very yummy recipe, so perfect for serving up to guests or as gifts, without having to spend ages making them!

Cook Time

Total Time: 35-45 minutes

Serves: Makes 12


  • 4.5 oz caster sugar (super fine sugar in the US)
  • 4.5 oz unsalted
  • softened butter
  • 3.5 oz self-raising flour
  • 3 level tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 12.5 oz icing sugar
  • 6 oz unsalted
  • softened butter
  • 4 level tbsp cocoa powder
  • 4 tbsp boiling water
  • A few drops of vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 190C
  2. Line a 12 hole muffin pan with paper cupcake cases
  3. Add the butter and sugar to a bowl and beat with a mixer until soft and fluffy
  4. Add the eggs and milk, sift in the flour and cocoa, and beat again until the mixture is smooth
  5. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tops are springy to touch. Cool on a wire rack
  6. To make the buttercream nests, beat the butter to soften it further, or melt it a little in the oven (which will still be warm from the cupcake baking)
  7. In a separate bowl, add the boiling water to the cocoa powder and mix until it forms a paste, before adding to the butter
  8. Add the icing sugar and vanilla extract, beat until very smooth, and spoon into a piping bag with a star nozzle, as with the previous recipe
  9. Pipe the icing around the cakes to create the look of bird nests
  10. Place 3-5 mini eggs in the centre of each cupcake, serve and enjoy!
Meri Meri Cupcake Kits, Floral Birds
Meri Meri Cupcake Kits, Floral Birds
Super cute cupcake kit for Easter, with floral cupcake cases and little birdies
Provo Craft & Novelty Cricut Cartridge, Straight from The Nest
Provo Craft & Novelty Cricut Cartridge, Straight from The Nest
Bird nest themed Cricut cartridge suitable for cake making and crafting!
Bird Nest Cupcakes with Flake Nests - image copyright of the author
Bird Nest Cupcakes with Flake Nests - image copyright of the author

Bird Nest Cupcakes with Flake Nests

An Alternative to Buttercream

My 3-year-old daughter LOVES baking cupcakes with me, and eating them too, but she doesn't like buttercream. So, if you want to make a cool nest cupcake with a topping alternative, what to do?

My little girl likes glace icing but that is no good here, so we opted for crumbly chocolate flakes to create the nests instead!

Because I made a batch of these at the same time as the other ones, I used a little of the leftover buttercream as a "glue" for the flakes. Using the back of a spoon, I smoothed a little over the top of each cake. If you're making these on their own, you could whip up a little bit of glace icing with some icing sugar and boiling water - it will work the same! Let it cool a little if you use this method, so that it's not runny, but pop the flakes on before it sets.

Carefully cut up pieces of chocolate flake with a sharp knife, and place them on top of the cupcake to form a nest. When happy with the designs, place 3-5 mini eggs in the centre of the nest and voila!

Which is your Favourite Recipe?

Bird Nest Cupcakes Recipes - image copyright of the author
Bird Nest Cupcakes Recipes - image copyright of the author

Which of these recipes was your favourite?

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Cupcake Inspiration

This was the book I immediately turned to when seeking inspiration for my first batch of these particular cupcakes. The recipes (and photography) in this book are to die for!!

Eat Me!: The Stupendous, Self-Raising World of Cupcakes and Bakes According to Cookie Girl
Eat Me!: The Stupendous, Self-Raising World of Cupcakes and Bakes According to Cookie Girl
Filled to the brim with incredible cupcakes and cookies, divided into the four seasons. You'll find everything from bird nests to graveyards, mini bonfires to Bollywood brights, pastel biscuit treats to decadent party cupcakes, and everything in between, including a variety of cocktail cupcakes! And what's more, it's all illustrated with sumptuous fairytale photography.

Photo Credit: Easter Cupcakes by Jamiesrabbits via Flickr Creative Commons

Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License

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    • Missmerfaery444 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      @PaigSr: Hehe very true! :)

    • PaigSr profile image


      6 years ago from State of Confusion

      The hard part is not eating all the eggs in the process.

    • Missmerfaery444 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      @paulahite: Thank you!

    • paulahite profile image

      Paula Hite 

      6 years ago from Virginia

      Love your lens! It been featured on our Google+ page today, so come and check it out!

    • puppy-love profile image


      6 years ago

      these are so cute!

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 

      6 years ago from Colorado

      These bird nest cupcakes are just too adorable. Must make some. Thanks for so many wonderful, delicious, cute ideas.

    • BuckHawkcenter profile image


      6 years ago

      When I saw the title on Review This! I just had to get over and see these cupcakes. AND right away I see CHOCOLATE! Perfect. Now I know what to make for the grandgirls when they come for Easter dinner.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image

      Rhonda Lytle 

      6 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      These are just as cute as they can be. While they are making me want some chocolate, I can't help thinking about how adorable they are, almost too much so to eat.

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 

      6 years ago from Lakewood New York

      Surly will have to make these for Easter!!! Thanks ")

    • Missmerfaery444 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      @TerriCarr: Thank you! I just used a packet of Cadbury Mini Eggs to put on the cupcakes, which have that lovely speckled surface on the coloured shells :)

    • TerriCarr profile image


      6 years ago

      Cute idea. I am curious how you made the eggs look a little speckled or weathered like a real egg that might be found in nature as opposed to smooth surfaced eggs right from the package?

    • Susan Zutautas profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Your bird nest cupcakes are so cute and I'll have to make some for Easter.

    • AnonymousC831 profile image


      6 years ago from Kentucky

      Cute idea.

    • SandraOsborne LM profile image

      SandraOsborne LM 

      7 years ago

      They look so cute. I might just have to make some as a spring treat.

    • Bonfire Designs profile image

      Bonfire Designs 

      7 years ago

      Adorable and Yummy!

    • Grasmere Sue profile image

      Sue Dixon 

      7 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      I like these because they are not too fussy like some over fiddly cupcakes. I used to make these years ago but had forgotten about them. Blessed!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image


      7 years ago

      Sprinkling angel blessings.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      that's really cute. wondering if i would eat them

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      These look so good. I love cupcakes.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      These are so wonderful! Blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 

      7 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Think I'd like the flake type nest best.


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